Ben Orlin in the Atlantic poses an interesting question this week: Does memorization get in the way of learning? (State capitals, periodic tables, and historical dates anyone?) It’s a pretty interesting question when you consider that much of the stuff we used to have to store in our brains is accessible through our cellphones. (Why don’t we give open phone tests, anyway?)
But whether it’s a cheat sheet or a phone, Orlin makes an important point: the questions we ask have to change. They need to solicit longer, more complex answers that require more critical thinking and support. And they need to build upon basic factual knowledge that we have learned – not memorized.
Let us know what interesting knowledge you’ve forgotten…if you can remember, of course.